Gillette Assault and Battery Defense Attorneys
Assault and battery charges can have significant ramifications on your life if you don’t have a strong defense case. Not only will the prosecution seek the harshest possible prison sentence and slap as many restrictions upon you as possible once you are out of prison, but you may also face a damaging social stigma that comes with a violent crime conviction. However, you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and deserve a fair shot to defend yourself. But to do that, you will need dedicated and serious legal aid.
If you or someone you love has been charged with assault or battery in Campbell County, do not hesitate to contact a Gillette criminal defense attorney at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. With our years of experience, knowledge, and skill, our trial lawyers can advocate on your behalf in a court of law to have your charges reduced or dismissed. To learn how we can fight for your freedom, contact us at (307) 257-7800.
In the state of Wyoming, assault and battery can qualify as several different charges, each with their own definitions under the law. While you may assume that you have to physically touch someone to be charged with a violent crime, that is not the case. Assault charges only require a perceived threat of harm or violence on behalf of a victim, according to WY Stat §6-2-501(a). Even if you never laid a hand on someone or even said you were going to hurt them, if they felt that you were going to hurt them, they could file assault charges against you.
Battery charges, in contrast, require that you actually harm someone, either “intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly” according to WY Stat §6-2-501(b). This means if you strike someone, shove them, or strangle them, you can be charged with battery. Battery is a far more significant charge than assault; however, there is also the charge of “aggravated assault and battery,” which is the most damaging of all of these charges.
Aggravated assault and battery are legally defined as causing physical harm to someone else with little regard to their life or threatening serious bodily harm against an individual with a weapon. Like an assault charge, aggravated assault does not have to involve actual physical harm, just the threat of harm, although it often involves a threat of far more violence than a standard assault charge. The addition of a weapon can also lead to serious charges, depending on whether or not it could cause serious harm.
These charges can also be filed alongside other charges, such as:
Assault and battery charges can be extremely complicated, as the courts must evaluate whether physical violence occurred, whether a threat of violence was credible, and the degree of harm that was done. However, there are still significant sentences that can come with a conviction.
Both assault and battery on their own are misdemeanor charges in Wyoming. With assault, you can face a $750 fine and no jail time. However, if you are charged with battery, you can face up to one year in county jail, a $750 fine, or both. In addition, if you have a previous charge of assault, then you will face the same punishments as a first-time battery charge.
However, aggravated assault and battery are felonies that can lead to up to 10 years in state prison. Not only that, but a felony in Wyoming can lead to a loss in voting rights, the right to own a firearm, and your ability to find employment or good housing. You could also face a protective order, which would severely limit where you can go in Campbell County. Bottom line, you will want to prepare a strong defense case to ensure you do not face a severe sentence.
While Wyoming does recognize the concept of self-defense and has a “stand your ground” law, that does not mean every case of self-defense is valid. To be able to claim you were acting in self-defense, you must first demonstrate that the other individual was attempting to harm you or someone else and that you used reasonable force to stop them. Reasonable force can vary by the situation. In a bar fight, attempting to pin someone’s arms to their body would be considered reasonable if they were trying to hit you, but firing a weapon or hitting them with a beer bottle would not. In addition, the other individual could also argue self-defense, which may further complicate the case.
Beyond an argument of self-defense, there are several other strategies an experienced lawyer can employ to keep you out of jail. Wyoming laws clearly outline what is required to secure a conviction and, if the prosecution cannot convince the judge or jury you are guilty of committing assault or battery beyond a reasonable doubt, then you cannot be convicted.
Keeping in mind the key differences between assault, battery, and aggravated assault, your defense attorney could utilize the following defenses in your case:
- There was no threat of violence or harm
- You did not intend to harm the other individual
- The alleged victim’s fears were not substantial
- You were provoked or acting in defense of others
- You were falsely identified, and it was a case of mistaken identity
- The police performed some form of misconduct during your arrest
As each case is different, you will want to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney handle your defense strategy. Charges like assault and battery are not something you want left to a public defender. Instead, you will want to contact a Gillette criminal defense attorney as early as possible. The earliest you contact us, the more time our team will have to investigate the case, review the evidence, and negotiate with the district attorney. If your case does go to trial, our trial attorneys are fully prepared and qualified to defend you against all charges. To get the best legal aid in Wyoming, call Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. at (307) 257-7800.
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